10th May 2016

Overcoming Service Management Challenges: Schedule Management

Are you still using spreadsheets and paper-based workflows to manage your field service engineers? Is it challenging to plan for reactive and emergency work? Here we explore five ways you can enhance your resource scheduling.

According to, 54 per cent of businesses still use manual techniques to manage their field service resources, which leads to delays and productivity losses. To operate a successful field service operation, it is essential to implement a single system that promotes efficiency, leading to improved customer satisfaction, loyalty and reduced service costs. Such system, according to Aberdeen Group, can optimise your field service scheduling, leading to 22 per cent increase in first-time fix rate and 18 per cent higher customer service level agreement (SLA) compliance rate.

Here is how implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology can improve your resource scheduling…

Optimise travel times – According to Field Service News, around half of engineers’ time is spent, and in turn lost, travelling to customers’ sites. Implementing a field service management software will allow you to see the whereabouts of your resources and the location of calls. Consequently, you will be able to easily determine which resource is best placed to attend reactive calls and deliver timely and effective service.  

Improve service delivery – The Aberdeen Group study shows companies that take planning initiatives saw a 27 per cent improvement in workforce utilisation, leading to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty and reduced service costs. Service ManagementERP software has the potential to increase your service efficiency through the effective management of resources, without having to hire more staff. By providing real-time visibility into workloads and the status of each call, it will allow you to schedule reactive calls quicker, making you more agile and raising the bar for the competition.

Remain agile - Being proactive in scheduling routine maintenance jobs can free your team to handle emergency and reactive calls. Service Management ERP software will give you the flexibility to schedule routine calls while making room for unexpected events. This will shorten response times and minimise wasted time, improving quality of you service, which in turn can bring more customers.

Increase first-time fix rates - According to Trimble Field Service Management, over half (52 per cent) of customers considered fixing the problem on the first visit to be the most important factor in determining their satisfaction. Consequently, the evolution of customer needs combined with growing competition have forced businesses like yours to employ a solution to increase job efficiency. Field Service ERP software can help you plan work, resource and skills effectively, equipping engineers with everything they need to complete the job quickly to meet SLAs and enhance business reputation.  

Facilitate forecasting – Forecasting is essential to business success allowing you to understand seasonal demand and prepare for fluctuations. Without those predictions, you may end up understaffed, which can cause significant delays impacting on future jobs and company’s reputation. Field Service ERP software can address this by helping you create a field resource plan to match demand, make accurate projections and schedule preventive maintenance, improving quality of service and customer retention.

The capabilities of your systems can be the difference between success and failure. Get it right and you can increase the number of jobs completed each day by 80%, which in turn can reduce response times and improve customer satisfaction. Get it wrong and the consequences can be disastrous, including overstretched resources and cancellations. Service Management ERP software can be used to address scheduling difficulties to ensure you are able to control every element of service work and put the right people with the right skills and who is in the right place to complete the call.

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